TheAdvocate- Adrian Peterson's wife sent him a text message with a link to NFL.com a few days ago.
Peterson's jersey, the No. 28 he's now wearing for the New Orleans Saints, is the top-selling jersey in the state of Minnesota right now.
"My fan base there is still strong, so it'll be good to get back out in front of them," Peterson said. "It shows that I was appreciated, which I knew, but that's just confirmation."
New Orleans opens the season on Sept. 11, a Monday night game against the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium, in front of the fans that have loved him for a decade.
Peterson has caught himself thinking about that game.
"A little bit," Peterson said. "Just to kind of get back and see some familiar faces, play in front of the fans I played in front of for 10 years, that'll be pretty outstanding."
Being a fan of literally any sports team is all about finding glimmers of hope. That hope might be as fleeting as the excitement felt by someone whose metal detector goes off on the beach only for them to find out they've uncovered a balled up sheet of tin foil covered in seagull shit instead of some buried treasure, but in the moment even the most blind of optimism is comforting.
The following isn't an indictment of how Saints training camp has gone so far, because reports have actually been eerily positive. However, there aren't fans that are more in need of a reason to believe this year could begin differently than those that have begun to feel like there is some deja-voodoo working to make a lackluster start and a 7-9 finish their own hellish, season-long version of 'Groundhog's Day'. The team that lost their second best pass rusher and their starting left tackle for extended periods of time before one whistle even blew could probably benefit from a little false machismo. What better to provide it than knowing the stadium they will be visiting to start the year is full of fans that are currently out buying up all the jerseys of their opponent's backup running back?!?
I am not dumb enough to truly believe that merchandise sales can have a tangible effect on the laundry list of intangibles that go into winning a professional football game (or at least I'm not dumb enough to put it in writing). I'm also aware that Adrian Peterson's Saints jersey doesn't have much competition due to the fact that rocking a Sam Bradford jersey is about as "cool" as the sleeves that have become an iconic representation of his lack of swag. The confidence boost I got from envisioning a little black & gold popping out of every closet in the greater Minneapolis area might get chop-blocked through the turf as soon as the ball gets kicked off. That said, for now it's making me feel better about New Orleans' chances of rewriting recent history and not falling to 0-1 with the reigning Super Bowl champs coming into town on 10 days rest...even if those chances are realistically higher than I want to admit.